Label: Roc-A-Fella, Roc Nation, Def Jam

"Black excellence, opulence, decadence," raps Jay-Z on "Murder to Excellence," waiting a full 10 tracks to deliver the album's mission statement. Though, if you couldn't figure out what Watch the Throne was about after peeping the Givenchy-inspired gold-plated album cover, or listening to the infectious, new-age bounce of "Ni**as in Paris", maybe it wasn't meant for you to understand.

A partnership between rap music's two biggest attractions, The Throne is an examination of of life from a height no other rappers have ever managed to ascend to-a whiff of that rarified air that's only sniffed by the likes of Oprah, Will Smith, and a whole lot of non-black people.